The rechargeable lithium-ion battery inside a child’s toy was to blame for starting a fine inside a Meridian, Idaho home Saturday, April 30.
According to Nampa, Idaho’s KIVI-TV, an Idaho family returned to their home in Meridian Sunday, May 1, to find it full of smoke. A quick search of the house led to a child’s bedroom where a small fire had broken out.
Meridian fire officials said the source of the fire was a rechargeable lithium-ion battery inside a child’s remote-control car. A report on KIVI-TV indicated that the toy had been charging while the family was out, overheated, and sparked a fire.
A Meridian Fire Department crew was able to extinguish the fire before it caused serous damage to the home and nobody was injured.
Meridian Fire Department Battalion Chief Ken Welborn spoke to KIVI-TV at the scene of the fire about some of the precautions people can take with items powered by lithium-ion batteries and their chargers.
“Make sure you use the correct charger that came with the battery,” Chief Welburn said, touching on a warning about lithium-ion batteries that has become widespread in recent years. As more and more devices rely on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries for their power, people are having to make sure they know which charger goes with the electronics, appliances, and gadgets around the house.
Using the wrong charger intentionally or getting them mixed up can lead to disaster. If a rechargeable device is being fed by an incompatible charger, it can accumulate heat, become overly hot, burst into flames, or even explode.
Chief Welburn also advised people to avoid charging a device on a potentially flammable surface such as the arm or top of the couch or a carpeted floor, for instance.